KJAN Ag/Outdoor

From County extension to conservation to grain prices, we provide lots of information every day on KJAN.  Here is some of that information on the web too!  We hope you find it useful.

Storms, dry weather affecting Iowa crops

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 30th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – While destructive storms have battered crops in some parts of Iowa, crops in other parts of the state are beginning to show stress from a lack of rainfall. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey released the weekly Iowa crop report Monday, saying some areas in southeast Iowa have received less than an inch of rain since June 30.

Topsoil moisture is rated 52 percent short or very short and subsoil moisture is rated 48 percent short or very short. Corn is rated at 15 percent poor or very poor, 26 percent fair and 59 percent good or excellent. Soybeans are reported at 12 percent poor or very poor, 24 percent fair and 64 percent good or excellent. Northey says the condition of crops is concerning as the fall harvest approaches.

“Mysterious Monarchs” Program

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 29th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials with The Cass County Conservation Service say the Conservation Board is holding aMysterious Monarchs” Program this Thursday afternoon (Sept. 1st). The public program will be held at the Main Campground at Lake Anita State Park in Anita.

During the free, 4-p.m. event, you can discover the Monarch Butterflies before their journey south! Conservation staffers will tag monarchs and show you how to same. If you’d would like a home tagging kit, you must attend and pre-register for the Kit.


Call 712-769-2372 to pre-register for your kit. You DO NOT have to be a registered camper to attend the program.

Inspection reports show violations at Iowa egg farms

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 28th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A investigation by the Des Moines Register has revealed safeguards at some Iowa egg production facilities remain inadequate, one-year after salmonella sickened at least 1,600 people and led to the recall of a half-billion eggs. The paper reported in its Sunday edition, Iowa egg producers don’t have to disclose salmonella test results to state or federal regulators, egg farms are told days in advance about inspections, federal regulators don’t fine or close egg farms where violations are found and some egg farms refuse to tell government inspectors what brands their eggs are sold under.

One of the egg farms mentioned in the article, was Southwest Iowa Egg, in Massena. During a visit by FDA inspectors four-months ago, the co-op was noted for four violations. Inspectors found the company was not: following its own protocol for preventing salmonella; was failing to review internal plant records as required; was failing to properly document cleaning, disinfecting and efforts to control flied and rodents; and, maintained no records documenting the number of hours eggs were stored on site before being shipped out. The FDA give company officials a poster detailing some of the regulations pertaining to egg production, but imposed no penalties.

In an interview to air 7:30-a.m. Monday on KJAN’s “Heartbeat Today,” with Jim Field, Rich Hall, General Manager of Southwest Iowa Egg says the company has a bio-security plan in place to prevent salmonella from forming at the facility. He says when facility first opened, they allowed tours, but that practice was stopped not long thereafter, to prevent contamination, and provide for a safe product that’s shipped to the consumer.

Hall says the violations were tied to the manner in which paperwork was maintained by the company. He says the documentation is there, but officials with the FDA thought information pertaining to rodent and fly activity should be on separate logs. He says for the past three-years, the birds are vaccinated for salmonella, which is not required. In addition, their facilities have been tested twice, once by the FDA, and a second time by an independent lab. No evidence of salmonella was ever found.

Hall says their new security plan was developed when eggs produced at another Iowa farm were recalled in August 2010, following an investigation into the salmonella outbreak that affected more than two-dozen states. He says they hired a veterinary consultant to help develop the plan, and have implemented that plan according to its interpretation. Hall says they discussed the paperwork issues mentioned by the FDA, and have made modifications to comply with the recommendations.

Hall says an audit in July of the cooperative’s north facility, did not reveal any problems with documentation. Another area egg production facility, Rose Acre Farms, in Guthrie Center, was inspected in April, but the process was aborted when officials discovered that birds in one of the henhouses had been diagnosed by the company, with a viral infection that is harmful to hens, but poses no risks to humans. The diagnosis was not reported to the state veterinarian, as required by law. The veterinarian advised the FDA not to re-enter the farm or any other facilities for at least five days, following the Rose Acre inspection. Officials with Rose Acre Farms say the FDA did complete its inspection, and no action was taken against the company for failing to report the disease, or refusing to provide the requested information about it.

Hall says Southwest Iowa Egg has made significant improvements to its documentation processes, based on discussion with the FDA. Iowa is the nation’s leading egg producer, with 57 million hens laying 14 billion eggs per year.

Corn prices have more than doubled in past 15 months


August 26th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The price for a bushel of corn has dramatically increased in the past year. Chad Hart, an Iowa State University economist, says corn prices are soaring because the demand from the ethanol and livestock industries, plus demand for U.S. corn exports, are larger than yield projections. “Last summer we had corn prices in some cases down around $3.50 a bushel,” Hart says. “Now we’re up in the $6 to $7 range, so we’ve seen nearly a doubling of prices, if you will, over the past 15 months.”

The U.S.D.A. predicts corn prices will remain high over the next year, as flooding and drought hit other parts of the corn belt. Iowa, however, is pegged to produce a record amount of corn — two-point-43 billion bushels — and the value of that crop will be high as purchasers compete for the limited supply.

“China’s been a very early buyer of the corn crop we’re growing now,” Hart says. “…That’s something that’s got the market a little worked up right now.” The grocery bills for consumers are hit by the higher corn prices, as products like meat, milk and eggs get more expensive as farmers spend more to buy the corn they feed their animals.

(Radio Iowa)

Heritage and Century Farms recognized at Iowa State Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently recognized Century and Heritage Farm families. The event took place August 16th, during the Iowa State Fair, in Des Moines. To qualify, a family must have owned at least 40-acres for 100-years or more, in the case of Century Farms, and 150-years or more, for a Heritage Farm.

This year, 341 Century Farms and 56 Heritage Farms were recognized. Among the Century Farms was: In Adair County - The Norman Kading, Incorporated, E. Eldon Eversull, and Bob Condon farms; In Adams County, the Tanner and Brittina Lund farm; in Audubon County, the Anthony P. Anthofer and Merle and Muryl Vokt farms; in Cass County, the LaVerne and Karen Ackerman farm; in Guthrie County, the Randy and Cynthia Ruth farm; in Montgomery County, the Terry Regan and Michael M. Anderson farms; in Pottawattamie County, the Ronald R. Paasch farm; and, in Shelby County, the Phyllis M. Allen, Joseph and Patricia Michels, and Mary Ann S. Schwery farms.

The Heritage Farm Program began in 2006, on the 30th Anniversary of the Century Farm Program. To date, more than 500 farms have been recognized. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has partnered with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation since 1976, to recognize families that have owned and worked a farm for 100-years or more. Including this year’s recipients, more than 17,000 farms across the state have been recognized.

Cass County Extension Report 08-25-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 25th, 2011 by admin

w/ Kate Olsen …


USDA Report 08-25-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 25th, 2011 by admin

Denny Heflin reports. …


Crops scouts sample Iowa’s corn & soybean fields


August 25th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

More than a hundred crop scouts are visiting corn and soybean fields across Iowa and six other states this week. As part of the annual Pro Farmer Crop Tour, the scouts are collecting samples to gauge the potential of the Midwestern corn and soybean crops. Pioneer agronomist Chris Woerner says the rain showers that moved through the region this month were very beneficial for the soybean crop.

“Anything that’s 3-2 maturity, 3-4 maturity up, these late rains are going to make pretty good beans,” he says. “We’ve got another three weeks to go yet. We could use another rain or two in the meantime. That’s really going to help us cool down and the rains we’ve had are really helping the bean crop this year.” As he tours the corn and soybean fields, Woerner says most of the crops are maturing at a good rate and harvest this fall will likely be on schedule.

“For some of the areas that went through that five or six weeks of dry weather, some of that dryland corn might be ready to go a little bit ahead of norm, but for the most part, I’d say we’re going to be right on pace for a normal harvest.” The tour began Monday with scouts in South Dakota and Nebraska. They moved into Indiana and Illinois on Tuesday and reached Iowa on Wednesday.

Learn more at http://www.agweb.com/pro_farmer_midwest_crop_tour.aspx

(Radio Iowa)

Manure Management and Runoff Control Demonstration Planned for Aug. 26


August 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

LEWIS, Iowa — Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting a manure management and runoff control demonstration on Friday, Aug. 26, from 1-3 p.m. at the ISU Armstrong Research Farm located near Lewis, Iowa. The purpose of this demonstration is to review low-cost options for managing runoff water and manure from small to medium size beef and dairy feedlot operations.

“Small and medium size open feedlots can potentially discharge significant amounts of nutrients to streams,” said Shawn Shouse, ISU Extension field agricultural engineer. “The nutrients can cause water quality problems in streams and present a loss of valuable fertilizer nutrients for the farm.”

Recent compliance enforcement from both Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put the focus on runoff from small to medium size feedlots. Iowa State has partnered with EPA, DNR and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association to look at feedlot control systems that will reduce runoff from feedlots and is more economically feasible to install for smaller feedlots.

This demonstration will look at a vegetated treatment area and pumping effluent into cropland as a possible low-cost handling option for feedlot runoff. According to Kris Kohl, ISU Extension field agricultural engineer, “Pumping effluent onto cropland is not a common practice in Iowa, but by doing so we can reduce the potential for nutrients to reach the stream and the effluent can provide nutrients and water to a growing crop.”

In addition to the manure control options, the field day will also include information on manure production and nutrient content of feedlot manure, how to sample manure for nutrient analysis, stockpiling regulations and an update on rules for medium size operations as well as review of other types of manure control practices.

The ISU Armstrong Research Farm is located at 53020 Hitchcock Ave., Lewis, Iowa, 11 miles east of Oakland or 11 miles west of Atlantic on Hwy 6, then half mile south on 525th Street (M53) and half mile east on Hitchcock Avenue.

FSA Emergency Loan Applications available

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Farm operators in southwest Iowa who have sustained major forage and/or crop production, and/or physical losses due to flooding, may be eligible for an emergency loan. Iowa USDA Executive Director John Whitaker says applications for assistance should be completed at the Cass/Pottawattamie County Farm Service Agency (FSA) office, in Atlantic.

Whitaker says the FSA may make Emergency Loans to eligible family farmers, which will enable them to return to their normal operations, if they sustained qualifying losses resulting from natural disaster. Applicants must be unable to obtain credit from other, usual sources, in order to qualify for FSA Farm Loan Program assistance. Most of the disaster loans can be for up to seven-years, however, if the loan is secured only on crops, it must be repaid when the next year’s crop income is received.

The deadline for final applications is April 23rd, 2012. For more information, call the Cass/Pott County FSA office, at 712-243-1377.